The mayoral by-election in Kaohsiung is to be held on Aug. 15, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said yesterday, after officially announcing Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) removal from office following last weekend’s recall vote.
The commission certified the results of last weekend’s recall vote, confirming that 964,141 valid ballots were cast, with 939,090, or 97.4 percent, in favor of recalling the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) mayor.
As Han served less than half of his four-year term, which was set to end in late 2022, a by-election must be held within three months of the recall vote.
Following the vote’s confirmation, the Executive Yuan appointed former Kaohsiung City Government secretary-general Yang Ming-jou (楊明州) as Kaohsiung acting mayor.
Yang would hold the position until the new mayor is selected, while the winner of the by-election would serve until December 2022, the end of Han’s term.
In related news, Democratic Progressive Party Kaohsiung City Councilor Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) yesterday said that the city government falsified information and used public funds for Han’s farewell concert on Thursday.
“The officials who approved the application for the event helped to falsify the information and, in doing so, broke the law,” Kang said.
The lawn on which it was heldbelongs to the city and has never been rented out to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Kang said.
“We later found that the city’s Information Bureau applied to use the lawn and then rented it out to an NGO, but the city’s by-laws do not permit this,” she said.
A prominent Han supporter, Lee Yi-hsiu (李易修), heads the Takao Zan Culture Association, the NGO that rented the lawn, she added.
“Lee set up the association on Monday and sent the registration papers to the city government on Wednesday — it has not yet been approved as an official organization,” Kang said.
“We question where the money came from and why it was given fast-track approval by Han’s aides,” she said, adding that the association was not yet eligible to take donations or rent a public space.
“This is a mayor who got ousted by nearly 940,000 Kaohsiung residents — a man who was kicked out of his job — yet he still used taxpayers’ money to pay for his farewell concert,” the Wecare Kaohsiung coalition of civic groups behind the recall campaign said in a statement.
“If Han did not use public funds for the event, then he should come forward and explain where the money came from,” it added.
Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Cheng Chao-hsin (鄭照新) said that the event did not use one cent of public funds.
“Our bureau acted as an advising body to main organizer the Takao Zan Culture Association, which has promised to pay for any damage to the lawn... We are disappointed by critics who deliberately made things difficult, even for Mayor Han’s last hours at work,” he said.
SOURED RELATIONS: Program director Jennifer Liu said the move to Taipei was due to a ‘perceived lack of friendliness’ from Beijing Language and Culture University Harvard University is to relocate its summer Mandarin program from Beijing to National Taiwan University (NTU) starting next year, a student publication reported on Thursday last week. Run at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) since 2004, the Harvard Beijing Academy is to become the Harvard Taipei Academy once it moves to Taiwan, Crimson magazine reported. Program director Jennifer Liu (劉力嘉) attributed the decision to a “perceived lack of friendliness” from the Chinese university, potentially due to shifting political winds. Liu told the magazine that BLCU in recent years had failed to provide a single dorm for the students or separate accommodation of
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
ADVANCING TECH: With revenue on target to reach US$15.4 billion, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said it is looking to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday announced plans to build a new plant in Japan next year to produce 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer chips in its latest effort to expand its global manufacturing footprint. The Japanese fab is to start operations in 2024, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker said, ending months of speculation. “We have received strong commitment to supporting this project from our customers and the Japanese government,” TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) told a quarterly investors’ conference. “We believe the expansion of our global manufacturing footprint will enable us to better serve our customers’ needs and reach global talent,
KNOWN ISSUES: Fire safety issues were found in the 40-year-old building, which previously housed a theater and restaurants, in 2019, last year and May, an official said Forty-six people died and 41 were injured in a building fire that raged out of control for hours overnight in Kaohsiung, authorities said yesterday. Flames and smoke billowed from the lower floors of the 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng (城中城) building on Fubei Road in Yancheng District (鹽埕), as firefighters tried to douse the blaze from the street and aerial platforms. The death toll rose steadily through the day as rescue workers searched the combined commercial and residential building. By late afternoon, authorities said 32 bodies had been found, while a further 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55